‘Shrines and Effigies’ | Anemic Cinema | Visceral, Hard-Hitting And Unpredictable

May 12, 2021

‘Shrines and Effigies’ | Anemic Cinema | Visceral, Hard-Hitting And Unpredictable

Exclusive video premiere of ‘Shrines and Effigies’ by Ghent-based Anemic Cinema.

Anemic Cinema (named after the eponymous short film by dadaist Marcel Duchamp), is an instrumental quartet led by Ghent-based guitarist/composer Artan Buleshkaj. The band features (besides Buleshkaj on baritone guitar) some of Belgium’s most adventurous young improvisers: Rob Banken (alto saxophone, clarinet), Steven Delannoye (tenor saxophone, bass clarinet) and Matthias De Waele (drums).

Chorales and medieval churches come to mind while listening to Anemic Cinema’s aptly titled ‘Shrines and Effigies’. The 5th and final tune off their recently released debut EP, the song is a perfect complement to their more jagged, heavy metal-inspired excursions. Clarinets install a dark and disquieting atmosphere which, as the tune progresses, becomes more and more hopeful. The pent-up tension finds its apex in a frantic clarinet improvisation, which is finally resolved by a humorous, court jester-like melody, leaving the listener wondering what just happened.

Combining jagged sonorities and riff-based passages from heavy metal (bands like Tyft, Zeus!, Meshuggah, … come to mind), metric structures and (freely) improvised sections inspired by (avant-)jazz, and harmonies reminiscent of modern classical composers such as Olivier Messiaen, Anton Webern, … the band creates an eerie atmosphere featuring intensely nervous and volatile passages that coexist with moments of disquieting reverie, combating monotony but also amplifying both ends of the musical spectrum.

Anemic Cinema | Credit: Pull & Over photographs

The omission of a conventional bass instrument allows other instruments to assume this role (or not). This creates certain compositional/improvisational challenges which in turn bear new, exciting avenues of musical conception with ample room for freedom within clearly marked boundaries. This all results in a listening experience equal parts visceral, hard-hitting and unpredictable.


Anemic Cinema self-titled EP was released April 2, 2021 via El Negocito Records

Artan Buleshkaj – baritone guitar
Rob Banken – alto saxophone, clarinet
Steven Delannoye – tenor saxophone, bass clarinet
Matthias De Waele – drums

Anemic Cinema Facebook / Instagram / Spotify / Bandcamp
El Negocito Records Official Website / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Bandcamp

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